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There are two paradigms you can aim for in designing a car. One is a great vehicle, accelerating, turning, and braking with speed and precision. The other is a great living or hotel room, with stylish interior appointments and spacious seating.

The owner of this van is obviously in the second camp, and has modified his ride so that it doesn’t look anything like a car on the inside, but rather a Japanese inn on wheels.

As shown in a video uploaded by YouTube user Higuti Itio, this unique car started out as a one-box kei, a class of super-compact van that’s popular in Japan. Despite its tiny exterior dimensions, removing the back row of seats has made his kei car incredibly roomy, both in that it has plenty of space and is now essentially a room you’d find in a traditional Japanese house.

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Inside, the floor panels are covered with tatami reed mats.

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Instead of a dome light, illumination comes from a wood-framed ceiling lamp.

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And of course, there’s a tokonoma alcove in which to hang a painting.

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Higuti Itio says he travels around Japan, stretching out and sleeping in the back. As such, the car is outfitted with such creature comforts as ample closet space, a slot for a table, and even an elegantly designed sink.

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Japanese Internet commenters had the following to say:

“This is nicer than the Japanese-style room in my house.”
“I want to live in it.”
“You could have a tea ceremony inside.”
“I’d love to hang out in the back and munch on some Japanese sweets.”

Thanks, Higuti Itio, for reminding us that if you’re making a motorhome, there’s no rule against making it a motor-Japanese home.

Sources: Karapaia, YouTube
Images: YouTube